Woodrow Wilson Parking Problem Turns Political

The Dallas Independent School District is set to continue a large portion of a major construction project on two of its campuses.

J. L. Long Middle School and Woodrow Wilson High School will be remodeled in an expansion project meant to provide space for the growing student population at both campuses.

In addition to the school construction, Dallas ISD has also proposed to pave over a portion of Randal Park for 22 new parking spaces.

The Parks and Recreation Board agreed, but later received some push back. Parents and residents who live in the neighborhood say the issue is about parking and not about politics.

Dallas City Council member Philip Kingston is against the idea of Dallas ISD paving over a portion of the park. He posted his opinion on facebook, suggesting Dallas ISD pave over its own land in front and behind the school to add parking.

"As if cutting down your trees and paving over your park weren't bad enough, here's an aerial view of lovely Woodrow Wilson HS showing the three sites on DISD's own property where it could temporarily park cars during the construction project," Kingston wrote in the post, which had a satellite view of Woodrow Wilson High School.

Dozens of people commented. Some agreed with Kingston while others questioned his suggestion.

"Is this a joke? I mean, are you seriously suggesting that Long and Woodrow rid themselves of any remaining greenspace they have in front of their schools in favor of additional parking? These buildings are landmarks," one comment read.

Some teachers and parents also commented by explaining the difficult parking situation.

"This is not about politics," said Deborah Stewart, who has a son that attends J. L. Long Middle School. "This is about parking and the safety of the students. The neighborhood supports this 100 percent, and they are the ones that will have to deal with the construction of the parking lot. This will benefit all of us."

The Park and Recreation Board will vote Thursday at their 8:15 a.m. meeting.

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